Sunday, December 26, 2010

...the bleak mid-winter...

We still have snow here-quite a lot of it-and very cold temperatures...the animals' water will freeze over several times during the day. Then this morning, we saw as we got up that the trees
have frozen over-somehow the overnight fog got stuck onto the branches. All quite pretty...but also a warning sign as we discovered when we realised our well water supply had frozen over. Time for Mart to go out in his dressing gown, boots and hat to try and change the supply over at the tap to mains water (which took a while since the concrete lid was also frozen over) whilst I poured bottled water (the shame of it) into the toilet cistern since my body was ready to dispose of the remains of yesterday's Christmas dinner.
Every single thing takes so much longer when it's cold like this. Just getting ready to go outside takes some minutes-in addition to the usual coat hat gloves etc, it's also necessary to apply some kind of lip balm and particularly thick socks. I have been helped with this last item by my daughter's fantastic gift to me of hand knitted woollen socks. They are beautiful and unbelievably soft and warm.

Indoors, I've been busy with the more traditional pursuits of Christmas baking-here using my Mum's old mince pie tray which I can remember her using when I was a child...which memory caused me a tearful moment. She used to do her baking whilst listening to the Carol concert on the radio and-just for once-us children were allowed to help ourselves pretty freely to whatever we wanted to eat.


Here, I did my decorating-as usual-on Christmas Eve. Felt pretty silly applying spray snow to my twiggy branch given the quantities of the stuff outside. The wooden piggy candle holders were made for us by our Swedish friend Pelle a few Christmases ago.
The local shop was open this morning so we called in for a few necessities and noticed a postcard of the town there. We'd forgotten how green this place usually is. We've had weeks of this covering of snow now. It can drive you a little crazy...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mistletoe and Whine

Apparently, there is a shortage of mistletoe in the Uk due to a lack of suitable cider apple trees. Here, we have 52 of the flaming things so it wasn't too long before I managed to find a suitable bit that I could reach with my little silver sickle.
By the time M returned from work, I'd quite forgotten I'd hung it up, and, due to a passing irritation, was far from in the mood for a spontaneous amorous gesture.
I returned from a trip to the UK on Tuesday morning after a 24 hour journey..since then, have been snowed in and seen no-one except M. Could be going a little stir-crazy...I've

hung up more fat balls for the birds (a tricky business in gloves), cleaned out the chickens and ducks-oh and the rabbit...we're all struggling to walk on the ice. Even the ducks who look very surprised as their flippers go in opposite directions. Bess the staffie is much cleverer since she waits, follows behind, and then walks directly in my footsteps-a paw placed in each print. it makes me feel like Wenceleslas himself...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Secrets and Fights


Nearly used these little French buttons today ...then changed my mind...I like them as they are!!!!
A bit busy today with secrets...sssh....also finally realised that it's less effort to reduce M's contribution to Christmas preparations to a celebrity-like bored signing of cards and gift tags, than to nag him to encourage any more pro-active involvement. He has mislaid his shiny black Christmas tree somewhere in the attic...I haven't had time to help look...


I've also been preparing for trip back to the UK for a few days. All this busy-ness leaves the dogs a little under-exercised and ignored, so they take to fighting all over the kitchen floor. I get used to living with the background noise of snarls and barks, along with the occasional 'yelp' from Frank when he wants to be 'released'.
It exactly reminds me of how my children used to be at this time of year...how sweet!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Christmas Grotto

Time for the annual jaunt to the Christmas Decoration shop grotty grotto. Sadly, they had no animated polar scenes this year. Mart added to his collection of purple decorations with this little group. He gets the hallway to decorate. He has a black glossy tree and flickering purple lights plus co-ordinating decorations. Me, I get the kitchen. It's the only way-there is no middle ground between our differing tastes in Christmas decor.






Yesterday, my choice was this set of model tools and green flock from the grotto which I'm hoping Naomi might allow me to place around the old crib. I would feel like the magi arriving bearing gifts. There's even a little bucket.




Tonight, I also made these little trees. Their trunks are a little too thick giving them the appearance of tree/mushrooms, but tomorrow I'll put some button or bead decorations on them to make them a little more festive...what do you think????

Saturday, December 4, 2010

...today's little project...




Mart has been kicking old coats into the cranks under the doors to stop the draught whistling it's way in like a small tornado across the floor. So today I made these-practical rather than pretty.

Friday, December 3, 2010

...the hidden world...



Of course, there are lots of things which are usually hidden from us-or which we're just too busy to look at properly-for instance, the fireflies which fly away with the sparks from a bonfire, or the Tea Elves who form in groups of 12 or so to carry mugs of tea or coffee on trays hoisted onto their shoulders between them-the only evidence of their existence being the frequent times we finally find our cups of tea or coffee in a different place to that in which we left them.
This morning, the snow left clues of other hidden worlds-first, some small cloven hooved tracks coming down from the forest-then, on the ground, these little tracks left by a small animal with a tail-which leaves a line between the footprints. These little tracks curved round to a hole in the bottom of the tree where presumably some small animal has been keeping his winter store of food. It seems a little early to have to be raiding it, but needs must...then the little tracks led right away up towards the vegetable patch....keep safe, little creature!!!




Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's so cooooold...

Wellington the Cockerel has developed into a truly magnificent specimen. I think I am a little in love with him. Today, I took his picture just as he pronounced the "Doo" of his "Cock a Doodle" which is why he's still holding his neck so erect. I've put extra hay in the coop tonight...the chooks and the ducks all snuggle up together more closely in this weather. Tonight, both the dogs went haring off through the dark in the direction of the (locked) coop-I could almost feel sorry for any half starved fox trying to find some sustenance. As Bess returns, I always check anxiously in case she has blood dripping from her jaws...


We still have no snow! But it's bitterly cold...the cows were happy with their hay this morning but the horse and her (nearly grown) foal have to manage by trying to eat the frozen grass





























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I've lived with my partner in Normandy, France, for about four years now. There's lots I love about our lives here-including our beautiful surroundings-but I also miss my wonderful children and grandchildren who are back in the UK. I trained as a hypnotherapist originally in the UK and am now registered for this in France, I also like making (and hopefully selling) some jewellery.